Brand Guidelines

The SoHE Communications Team provides design, public relations, and strategy services. To start a project, contact us directly or fill out the Communications Project Request Form. UW-Madison Communications and UMark also provide services to campus units.

Using the SoHE Brand and Request for Sponsorship

Our goal is to ensure stakeholders understand the process for seeking advice and requesting approvals for legal use of the SoHE brand, which is under the umbrella of UW-Madison trademarks. By working together, we can reinforce a clear and consistent message to all our audiences.


What is a brand?

The SoHE “brand” is what our audiences think of when they hear or see our name, and that of the UW-Madison. The two are inextricably linked – the School of Human Ecology, Centers, Child Development Lab – you name it – are all part of the brand family of UW-Madison.

When someone hears or sees our brand name it’s real – the crest, colors, words, etc.  But the experiences, qualities or characteristics that together form the SoHE brand- creative, empathetic, professional, real-world – are what defines our unique brand.

An identity system spells out how to present a unified front to others, allowing the School of Human Ecology to leverage the value of its connection to the institution, benefits include:

  • Clear communication and a unified voice
  • Instant recognition
  • Strengthening SoHE’s reputation and mission
  • Protecting our brand equity

Referring to ‘School of Human Ecology’

The name of our unit is School of Human Ecology. In publications, the first reference should be the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Second reference should be School of Human Ecology. For the web, School of Human Ecology is acceptable on first reference. Once the School of Human Ecology has been referenced and it is appropriate for the audience (internal or external), SoHE may be used.

Do NOT identify the school as:

  • UW School of Human Ecology
  • School of Human Ecology at UW
  • UW SoHE

The Crest

The School of Human Ecology logo (crest) is the official identity effective June 2012 and is aligned with the university’s visual identity/parent brand. The School of Human Ecology logo must be included on websites, publications and other materials.

Much of the content regarding use of the logo is informed by University Communications. There are two iterations available to use, centered and left-aligned and may be found on the “S” drive at this address: S:\Admin\Public\LOGOS

Examples of unacceptable use of the school or UW-Madison logo include:

  • Using the crest as a decorative element or pattern
  • Don’t sacrifice legibility (e.g. overlay onto a photo)
  • Putting text, graphics or images over the logo
  • Re-positioning or separating components, changing colors or using the word mark without the crest
  • Should never appear so small that the words are not legible

The “Motion W” is reserved for use with materials related specifically to UW–Madison Athletics.


The School of Human Ecology website is rich with images that help to convey the school’s mission of improving life for families, communities and the marketplace. The campus photo library is a free resource with hundreds upon hundreds of high quality images, and includes the campus guidelines for photography use, contracts and other helpful information.

Color Palette

The School of Human Ecology mirrors the UW-Madison color palette. When using UW-Madison’s official colors (Badger red, gold, and black) make sure you are using the correct color specifications. Badger red and white should be the predominant colors in a design, with other colors reserved for accents

Color Palette

University and SoHE Editorial Guide

Below are excerpts from University Communications’ editorial style guide, which is posted on their website. The School of Human Ecology guidelines are informed by best practices and university standards.

Academic degrees

  • On most references, use bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in place of degree abbreviations. Bachelor of arts degree or master of fine arts degree is also acceptable.
  • Use abbreviations only when necessary to distinguish the specific type of degree or when the use of full terms would prove cumbersome, such as when there are multiple degrees: She has an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry. The abbreviations are: B.A. (bachelor of arts), M.A. (master of arts), M.S. (master of science), Ed.D. (doctor of education), Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy), and J.D. (doctor of law). For these degrees, always use periods and do not use a space between the period and letters. For degrees with three or more capital letters (MBA, BBA, MSSW, DVM), the periods are omitted. The word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation.
  • Form the plural with an apostrophe and an s if adding s alone would be confusing, as in abbreviations with periods, lowercase letters used as words, and some uses of capital letters: M.D.’s and Ph.D.’s were awarded.

Academic departments

  • Capitalize when used as a formal name: Department of Art History. Lowercase when used as an informal name: the art history department, the department. Capitalize the words department, college, office, and school only when they appear as part of the official name. Words such as department can be omitted on second reference, but if the department is still referred to by its official name, it should be capitalized. Casual references to a department, where department is used as a descriptor, are not capitalized (a political science committee; the political science department). Do not capitalize department names when they are used to indicate the subject a professor teaches (Dave Brown of anthropology). Do not capitalize the words college, school, university, or department on second reference (the College of Letters & Science, the college; the Law School, the school; UW-Madison, the university).

Academic titles

  • Capitalize and spell out formal titles (professor, dean, president, chancellor, professor emeritus, chair, etc.) only when they precede a name: Chancellor John Doe, Professor Jane Doe. Capitalize formal titles of named professorships on all references (Jane Doe has been named the Zwicker Professor of Consumer Behavior; John Smith, Kohl’s Professor of Retail Management, received the award; Jane Doe, Bascom Professor Emeritus of Art).

Alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

  • Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to groups that include both men and women. In most informal uses, alum is an acceptable alternative. These terms can be used for people who attended the university, but did not graduate.


  • Capital refers to the city that is the seat of government in a state or country. Capitol refers to the building where a legislature meets.

Emeritus status

  • emeritus (for a man), emerita (for a woman), emeriti (plural) Professor Emeritus John Doe, not Emeritus Professor John Doe.


  • Do not capitalize majors, programs, specializations, or concentrations of study when they are not part of an official department name or title. (She received a bachelor’s degree in history. She majored in economics.)

Nancy Nicholas Hall

  • Effective June 10, 2011 (Regent Action #9945), “Nancy Nicholas Hall” is the proper reference for the building, in honor of Nancy Johnson Nicholas. The name should never be shortened to “Nicholas Hall.”

Student classifications

  • Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior when referring to a single student. Capitalize when referring to the class as a whole or collective group. (He is a senior history major. The Senior Class sponsored the lecture.) Plural of freshman is freshmen.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • On first reference University of Wisconsin-Madison. Either UW-Madison or the university (lowercase) is acceptable on second reference. It is never acceptable to shorten to “UW” or to add “The University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

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